In the last few years, April and May have been dangerous months. In both 2016 and 2017, we’ve had torrential downpours that have caused flooding in multiple parts of the city. The amount of homes that have been affected has been growing even before Harvey hit, where homes were getting flooded for the first time in history. Then with Harvey causing these homes to flood a second time, they’re not forced by law to raise the homes if they need substantial work. This just adds to the cost, which most homeowners simply can’t afford and insurance rarely covers flooded homes.
So, what does this mean for the upcoming months? It’s time to prepare.
Get an inflatable raft!
I know this sounds silly, but if you’re in a flood zone, we know that getting an inflatable raft that you can store in the garage or in the attic can end up saving lives and most valuable possessions. In Harvey, this ended up being one of the most important things in order to get out safely from the floods. These things can be stored in fairly compact boxes and can be expanded so that you can fit multiple people (or pets) on them along with some bags and clothes.
Prepare with supplies
Make sure you have enough emergency supplies, including food, water, and first aid kits. Keep an unopened box of batteries that can be used if you need them, and get a portable charger for your phones that is large enough to recharge a phone several times. These rechargeable battery packs have improved over the years and can be pretty small while packing a lot of juice.
Create an emergency plan
If your neighborhood and home were to flood, what would be the primary and secondary plans for safety? What are the most important things to get and where are they located? Make sure all your necessary supplies are easy to get to and won’t get blocked off if there’s water in the home. Then decide what are the one or two primary routes to get out and to safety. What are the closest shelters to your home and how would you get to them if certain streets had flooded, based on flood history? These things will make an important impact on speediness of evacuation.
What to do with the home after a flood
Although there’s a lot to do with a home after it floods, the most important thing is to make sure that you get it dried as quickly as possible and prevent water from sitting in the home. You want to prevent moisture from absorbing into the walls and frame so that it doesn’t begin to warp the home and cause severe molding. The worst thing you can do is let it sit for multiple months, to the point where the exterior walls begin to warp. This will generally mean that the house must be torn down and you can only sell it for lot value. If the flooding was bad enough where you need mold remediation and repairs but you can’t afford it, then consider selling the flooded home quickly so you can get as much for it as possible before it worsens.
Remember, it’s important to create plans for emergencies, that way you and your family know exactly what to do. Floods are no joke, and there’s a lot that can be at stake when it happens unexpectedly. There’s no time to figure it out when it actually occurs. And now that we’re nearing the end of April and entering May, there’s still a chance that more flooding can happen before the spring’s end.
Information in this article provided by Home Buyer Houston (https://www.homebuyerhouston.net).
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